Just about

cupid 1What did the good Pharrel Williams say ?”Clap along if you know what happiness is to you“, well I guess he has done a lot clapping this year considering the immense success of his worldwide hit ” Happy“, however, do you know what happiness is to you, or better when? Metaphorically speaking when is the most intense moment of bliss: when you cross the finish line or the moment just before, when you are overwhelmed by that powerful combination of excitement and pain, in short, when you are “just about”?

cupid 3Just about” would have been Keats‘s prompt answer. In his “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, the poet is charmed by ” the leaf fringed legend ” that “haunts” the shape of an urn and focuses on the images which are depicted on its frieze . He is attracted by one scene in particular: there is a “bold lover” who is “winning near his goal “, that is, a beautiful young girl. He is just about to reach her, but unfortunately he is destined to live that frustrating condition forever, as art has stopped that moment and made it eternal.

That moment does not mean grief for the poet, but quite the contrary, for him it is the highest moment of happiness man can experience . The young boy’s love will be “for ever warm” as it is “still to be enjoyed“, and he will be ” for ever panting” for a girl whose youth and beauty will never fade away. Unfortunately time cannot be stopped, as once you eventually achieve your goal, your feelings are so overwhelming to devour that moment of bliss to leave you with “a heart high sorrowful and cloy’d, a burning forehead, and a parching tongue” looking at the ashes of what now is past.

cupid 2Canova ‘s “just about” can be admired in his magnificent statue of ” Cupid and Psyche“. “Cupid and Psyche” is a tale written by Apuleius a Latin-language prose writer. It narrates about the adventures of a young girl Psyche, who is uncommonly beautiful. Cupid, the son of Venus, desperately falls in love with Psyche and carries her to an enchanted, magnificent palace where they can secretly consume their passion, but he prohibits her to know his identity. The happiness of the young couple is threatened both by the envy of Psyche’s sisters, and by the hostility of Venus, who wouldn’t want her son to marry a mortal, whose beauty could be compared to her own, a goddess. Psyche follows the perfidious suggestions of her sisters thus disobeying Cupid, who consequently abandons her. She desperately seeks her lover, but she falls into the hands of her mother-in-law, Venus, who forces her to undergo insurmountable trials, which eventually she passes thanks to a series of extraordinary helps. A happy end follows: Jove himself will celebrate the wedding between Cupid and Psyche and will turn her into a goddess, making her immortal.

Canova represented in his statue the instant of the story, when he imagined intensity was at its pitch, that is when Cupid is “just about” to kiss Psyche. There is a slight, refined eroticism, while Cupid tenderly contemplates the face of the girl he loves, while Psyche reciprocates him with equal warmth and sweetness. You can feel that tension, before it bursts into passion. Psyche’s arms form a circle around the faces of the two lovers, which seems to frame the focal point of the statue. It’s inside that circle that the emotional tension swells and Cupid’s endless craving is close to be satisfied.He is just about.

However, experiencing that tension forever is impossible for both mortals or deities, only art can fix that moment. What comes next, then? Well, Cupid and Psyche had soon a beautiful daughter whose name was Voluptas, that is Pleasure. 😉







163 thoughts on “Just about

  1. I think that the “just about” moment is really unique. It’s a moment that last way more than every other moment. The just about moment is the happiness I think. I believe the waiting of pleasure is pleasure itself. So the “just about” moment is the real pleasure in my opinion. I believe most of the times the “soon after” moment is just a less happy moment because everything you wanted to do, you have already done it or everything you could immagine before you can’t immagine it anymore.

  2. I think “just about” is the moment of greatest excitement and passion in love and in life. Just before reaching a goal, in fact, you can feel the hadreline on you, and it is a unique and irreplaceable moment, in which you cannot think and you are overwhelmed by emotions! Like before touching the wall! 😝😉

  3. The just about moment is the point of maximum tension, and the following moment, all the tension is released.
    It is a magic moment, perhaps the happiest moment you can ever experience, because it’s the moments you realise you’re about to be extremely happy.
    Is there anything better than this?

  4. The expression of maximum happiness, can be defined with the “just about”, since it represents the most significant moment, due to the achievement of a goal, due to the release of feelings and emotions, which make you live an unforgettable moment, which however does not last long, in fact all that is felt immediately after the moment of maximum joy is an extension of emotions, which can never be on the same level as the “just about” moment.

  5. I think that the “just about” moment is cause of great excitement, when you are about to reach your goal and satisfy your needs. However, we must pay attention to this moment. In fact, I believe we must know how long this moment can last,or we could ruin everything.

  6. I’d like to add an example to represent the “just about” taken from the famous series “How i met your mother”. Ted, the protagonist, finds himself alone at a wedding and during the evening he meets Victoria. The two immediately like each other and after a magnificent evening they are about to kiss: at that moment everything is perfect, there was harmony and attraction throughout the evening, they laughed, danced and played together. The beats increase but the reality could be disappointing: the kiss could not have been so beautiful, and that would ruin everything that until then had been “perfect” and so Victoria tells Ted to close his eyes and leave. I believe that the moment before the kiss that will not be at the end, is a “just about” moment in which the sensations are thousands and everything seems to be perfect.
    Personally, even if I recognize that Canova and keats’s opinions are valid points of view, I do not agree that the highest moment of something is the expectation of it, this is a nonsense. man lives on moments, satisfaction, joy and happiness remain even after having done something: the emotions I feel after winning the Champions League final for example cannot be compared to the pre-match; the only thing that could make the second emotion as strong as the first is fear, which is something so irrational that could enhance emotions. But tell me honestly, what would give you the most satisfaction? I think I already know the answer….

  7. Personally, I can only agree with Canova. The highest point of happiness is that moment when you are expecting something whatever it is, you can’t even sleep as long as you can’t wait to have it, you can never stop talking about that thing .. It’s just happening to me lately I’m waiting for a phone call which maybe I can change my life .. Participating in a TV series is something bigger than me that will bring me an indescribable emotion, an experience that will mark me, something I’ve always dreamed of doing .. Reading the article I thought it was appropriate to write it to fully understand my parade of happiness that comes in the moment of “expectance”, as Canova describes in his works. Perhaps it is also for this reason that as an artist I was struck by studying him. But I do not deny that there are other opinions. So, for me, everyone can define their own highest point of happiness based on what they are saying .. If we talk about love, well, you certainly can’t turn your back on the “expectance” that it brings. Those moments like the courtship, the looks, the moment when the two lips are about to touch for the first time and the heart explodes with joy ..

  8. First of all I really enjoyed the post. I think that the “just about” moment is the apex of human passion and emotion, in which man is crossed by a sense of bliss and happiness , that may seem eternal, because time seems to stop, but which actually lasts a few seconds. All this Canova, considered the greatest exponent of Italian neorealism, manages to represent it through the artistic composition, such as Cupid and Psyche, in which he passionately represents the two lovers in the moment before their union.

  9. I think that “just about” is a moment in which all emotions are concentrated in one; this causes excitement, dismay. I don’t know if it’s a good feeling because at the same time it gives me a sense of dissatisfaction. What I am sure of is my fascination for canova’s work; his delicacy, his refined way of representing a moment that cannot be described in words. If he had represented the kissing scene it would have been somehow “taken for granted” and instead no, he wanted to give the spectators real perceptions of Cupid and Psyche, because I perceive their desire; that is, a genius.

  10. Happiness is the complete experience of every fulfillment.
    I personally believe that, as Giacomo Leopardi says, happiness is more in the expectation of a moment than in that moment itself; in these moments prevails a sort of “confident hope”: the dream that what you want so much can be realized. In this expectation there is a tension that accompanies the moment when what man yearns for will be realized. But it is also true that when we realize what we want and we can see it physically realized, then we are happy.
    Perhaps we might not all agree on the duration of happiness but reaching the fulfillment of a goal, of a desire can be defined as happiness. Then, satisfied a desire, man goes perpetually in search of something else that can satisfy him and make him happy.

  11. I love Canova, he is one of my favorite artists. I think that what he did in “Cupid and Psyche” is absolutely unattainable. He gave a sense to the “just about”. For him it is not the peak moment of a feeling, it is not the heart of an emotion. Indeed, he is inspired by the theories of Winckelmann ( imitate the classics) and for this reason he decides to always represent either the moment before or the moment after. Canova has given shape to the “ideal beauty” suspending the feeling, to make it eternal. I think an eternal feeling is as wonderful as it is impossible. Sometimes I wish it to be real, not to live in loop that moment (it is not what I would like), but to stop time and take me back to those “moments before” just to be overwhelmed again by that feeling of waiting… the only one that can give life to the purest desire. But at the same time I think it’s even more beautiful like this, because otherwise those moments would lose their magic.

  12. For me, the “Just About” is happiness itself.
    Something is fascinating when it manages to awake in myself many thoughts and emotions in just a fraction of a second. I also agree with Canova, regarding Cupid an Psyche. “The Just About” that lasts indefinitely, would make us infinitely happier

  13. I have always loved “Cupid and Psyche”, the way in which bodies and looks intertwine, the direct representation of the kiss I don’t think would have conveyed the same emotions. I believe that the representation of “just about” is much more effective, in this way they better express the desire they have for each other. In the moment of “just about” the emotions are amplified and contrasting. The emotions, I think, are beautiful, but at the same time there is a feeling of dissatisfaction that seems almost impossible, however great it is. Personally I love that feeling, by which I don’t mean that the act itself is not beautiful but, once everything ends, it remains a memory, beautiful, but always a memory. In any case, I think it is an indescribable emotion, the heart to three thousand and the mind that is unable to go elsewhere. Those few seconds in which time seems to stop and then start spinning again. I find it wonderful.

  14. In my opinion , happiness is in small things and monstly we must also know pain to get there.
    I could say that happiness is the achievement of every wishes, but it would not be correct because for me , man is always looking for something.
    For this reason I will limit myself to saying that happiness is made of little moments.
    I really enjoyed the post and the “just about”; that moment before is the peak of the sensations.
    Canova indeed doesn’t represent the precise moment but the moment before o after.
    I love Canova and I think his way of expressing is very strong!

  15. In my opinion the “just about” could both be right before or right after an important moment.
    If you think about it, you can feel a strong emotion when you win or lose a competition that it’s so important to you, so right after it. But you can feel a strong emotion right before you kiss someone you love for the first time, too. At that very moment your emotions are so powerful, you probably can not even define them but you know they are so overwhelming; it is something you feel once, it cannot be repeated.
    I think that Canova and Keats represented that moment perfectly. When you use art you can stop time whenever you want, and they stoped it at the “just about” moment, when both “the bold lover” and Cupid were just about to reach their goals: the young ladies. The “just about” is when your feelings are most powerful. They do not need do be positive but they must be overwhelming.

  16. I really liked this post but I don’t know if I agree that the “just about” moment is the definition of happiness. I think “just about” is a moment of satisfaction more than happiness, and I think happiness comes later, right after you accomplish something or something good happens to you. Happiness is the peak that someone can achieve, I don’t think there’s something more important than happiness, and I think the “just about” moment doesn’t give you that joy that accomplishing something gives you.

  17. I think that happiness is fundamental for the existence of man. I think that man is always looking for them and for me true happiness is something that is not experienced very often and can be found in small things, like small gestures. For example, I tried it when I fell in love for the first time, I felt very strange (in the positive sense), I felt like a God, “invincible”. Every time I talk to her or see her I remember that very strong emotion I felt the first time I looked at her. However I must say that I liked the place very much and I appreciated the connection with Canova and his emotions that he transmitted to us with the picture Cupid and Psyche.

  18. I think ‘just about’ is the finest expression of happinesse,in which you let the happiness itself and the adrenaline guide you,whiteout being able to think,and it is the happiest moment you can ever experience.

  19. I think ‘just about’ is the finest expression of happiness,in which you let the happiness itself and the adrenaline guide you,whiteout being able to think,and it is the happiest moment you can ever experience.

  20. I think “just about” can be considered as a moment before or after a good or bad event. In “Cupid and Psyche” we have the two lovers who meet again after a long time, so we find a beautiful moment of happiness. While in “Adonis and Venus” we have the two lovers who say goodbye and then never see each other again since he will die shortly after. Obviously the “just about” depends both on the scene and the moment narrated but also on the point view of each one. However, the most exciting moment of the action never comes, but is always a moment before or after to taste the true meaning of the emotion, happy or sad, that will come later.

  21. Let’s start by saying what happiness is. It is a positive state of mind of those who believe their desires satisfied, often associated with the possession of material things. But happiness is in the little things that we don’t even care about. Even just getting up in the morning after sleeping in a warm bed is a right that not everyone has. We were just lucky enough to be born in the most affluent part of the world.

  22. I really enjoyed reading this post. For me, happiness is fundamental, without it man wouldn’t have the satisfaction of living everyday life.
    “Cupid and Psyche” is a very beautiful painting, Canova managed to stop time at the right moment.
    He fully represented the emotions of the two young people and makes to the observe understand his thoughts about happiness and strong passions.
    But in my opinion, happiness doesn’t lie in the moment before, in the “just about” … for me happiness is after.
    For me “just about” is a moment of strong emotion, but I believe that man is really happy only after he has made what he really wants.

  23. I think that the “just about” is a moment of unique emotion, which happens to you a few times in life. It lasts a split second in which you find yourself thoughtless and let yourself be guided by the emotions of that moment.

  24. I reckon Antonio Canova the most representative exponent of Neoclassical movement. He wholly embodies “winckelmannian” artistic concepts of “noble simplicity” and “quiet size”. Besides Keats “just about” topic, fortunately and gladly reprehended by Leopardi’s “theory of pleasure” (cf. poem Sabato del villaggio), is perfectly expressed by Canova’s marble productions. “Canovian” works are the materialization of “just about”. There is also an emblematic quote, often used in advertising spot of hard liquors, which is extracted by a famous line of Lessing’s comedy Soldiers Happiness: “To look forward to pleasure is also a pleasure”. It’s important marking differences between happiness and pleasure. From my point of view, the achievement of pleasure is just a moment. It’s momentary, instantaneous. And before the latter there is a tensional state, almost an interior, irrational bellum omnia contra omnes, where every Id multiplicity fight each other. The only winner of this conflict is the passion, the sentiment (pathos), but, according to Winckelmann’s theories, Neoclassical artist shall avoid to represent the pathos and other excessive affections. The artist shall exclusively set either the “just before” ( cf. “Cupid and Psyche”) or the “just after” (cf. “Theseus and the Minotaur”). Thus the research about ideal beauty reaches its acme in the representation of “just about”. Therefore it can be exclusively eternalized through poetry, fine arts, music et similia.
    Indeed the feeling of happiness have to be durable, it should involve a diffused stability and it should be a sort of a leap into a magic environment.
    Beauty is universal and harmonic, while pleasure is personal and evanescent. Obviously beauty offers us, small human beings, huge pleasure for an extended time. Canova managed to crystallize the essence of eternal beauty through his own art.
    I might “operate” an amateur stylistic comparison between the three versions of The Kiss by Hayez and the simulacrum of Cupid and Psyche … It will be for the next reply.

  25. Happiness is such a broad concept that it has always been very difficult to define well. A phrase that struck me comes from Siddhartha Gautama who states: “There is no road that leads to happiness”. Happiness is the way. Another phrase that struck me belongs to a very important philosopher Aristotle, who says: “Happiness depends on ourselves.” Man is always in search of happiness. It is fundamental for everyone’s life. It is a set of sensations positive often combined with a mostly subjective meaning.In conclusion, I think that happiness is the starting point of all success.

  26. “Just about” it’s not a concept, but has to be interpreted with a certain degree of subjectivity. Its nature as a word suggests it to be something small yet important. In my case, it’s exactly like that.
    However, the “Just About” in art and literature is often obtained through a climax. Canova’s “Cupid and Psyche” achieve it through the duality of softness and roughness of a very passionate love. A primal feeling, yet the purest of them all.
    Maybe, not everyone can experience the perpetual climax of one of Canova’s pieces. Yet, I reckon that to live the “Just About”, you just need the right feelings, to share with the right person/people. I wouldn’t ask for more.

  27. I agree with “just about”. Man is in a constant research of happiness. However, life is made up of emotions. Obviously, love leaves a different imprint on the soul. The emotions that come suddenly are always the most powerfoul.

  28. Happines is achieved when you cross the finish line, in this moment there is a great sense of satisfied, but it is also very important the moment just before, because this is the more passionate moment of the story and it is still to be enjoyed, especially if we talk about love. Love stories have the moment of greatest passion in the moment just before of the story.

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